Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

How do different running shoes affect joint forces?

PainSci » bibliography » Keenan et al 2011
Tags: orthotics, biomechanics, etiology, arthritis, running, shin pain, patellar pain, plantar fasciitis, foot, barefoot, leg, limbs, pain problems, pro, self-treatment, treatment, devices, aging, exercise, overuse injury, injury, knee, tendinosis

Five articles on PainSci cite Keenan 2011: 1. The Complete Guide to IT Band Syndrome2. The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome3. Complete Guide to Plantar Fasciitis4. Shin Splints Treatment, The Complete Guide5. Are Orthotics Worth It?

PainSci commentary on Keenan 2011: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

Do running shoes have positive or negative impacts on joints? Researchers analyzed peak joint forces in barefoot walking versus three different types of shoes: stability, motion control, and cushion. Results showed an increase in knee and hip flexion forces in all shod conditions during the early stance phase (the part of our gait when we are “standing” for a split second), mostly due to increased step length. This is not clear evidence that “shoes are bad” — more forces are not necessarily bad — but it is an interesting addition to the debate about the biomechanics of shoes versus going barefoot.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

The effects of current athletic footwear on lower extremity biomechanics are unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the changes, if any, that occur in peak lower extremity net joint moments while walking in industry recommended athletic footwear. Sixty-eight healthy young adults underwent kinetic evaluation of lower extremity extrinsic joint moments while walking barefoot and while walking in current standard athletic footwear matched to the foot mechanics of each subject while controlling for speed. A secondary analysis was performed comparing peak knee joint extrinsic moments during barefoot walking to those while walking in three different standard footwear types: stability, motion control, and cushion. 3-D motion capture data were collected in synchrony with ground reaction force data collected from an instrumented treadmill. The shod condition was associated with a 9.7% increase in the first peak knee varus moment, and increases in the hip flexion and extension moments. These increases may be largely related to a 6.5% increase in stride length with shoes associated with increases in the ground reaction forces in all three axes. The changes from barefoot walking observed in the peak knee joint moments were similar when subjects walked in all three footwear types. It is unclear to what extent these increased joint moments may be clinically relevant, or potentially adverse. Nonetheless, these differences should be considered in the recommendation as well as the design of footwear in the future.

related content

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: